Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rangoon airport sees over 350,000 tourists in Jan-Sept


Thursday, 18 October 2012 14:18 Mizzima News   

The number of tourist arrivals in Rangoon reached 357,159 in the first nine months of 2012, local media reported on Monday.

Thai tourists ranked No. 1 followed by Japanese travelers followed by China, South Korea, United States, Malaysia, France, Singapore and Germany, said the Biweekly Eleven News.

Yangon International Airport  Photo: Mizzima

All Nippon Airways (ANA) resumed regular direct flights between Tokyo and Rangoon after 12 years' suspension on Monday.

According to official statistics of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, the number of tourist arrivals amounted to over 800,000 in 2011, up more than 24,000 or 3 per cent from the same period in 2010.

The figures also show that up to February 2012, there were a total of 739 hotels in Burma including 22 foreign-invested hotels, four joint-venture hotels, six government hotels and 707 private-owned ones.

Burma is depending on tourist to become a quick source of revenue following the country’s rapid expansion of democratic reforms.

Mizzima reported last month that the government is developing a master tourism plan with the technical assistance of the German-based Hanns Seidal Foundation, with support from the Norwegian government and the Asian Development Bank.

A main focus of the plan will be to expand tourism infrastructure and quality of services as quickly as possible. The Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has organized tourism development workshops in key tourist destinations to discuss with the stakeholders current and future challenges.

Last month, hoteliers said they planned to double the total number of hotel rooms in the coming year in the Bagan temple complex hotel zone, a popular site for foreign tourists.

Currently, there are a total of more than 2,100 hotel rooms in Bagan.

In comparison with 2011, the number of foreign tourists visiting Bagan in the first six months of this year increased by more than 50 per cent, officials said.

Burma earned US$ 319 million in 2011 from the hotel and tourism sector, up 26 per cent from $254 million in 2010.

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